A new year has rolled around once again along with all the things that make our summers truly amazing – including a whole lot more exciting Maxxis road trip destinations just waiting to be explored!
For 2024’s first journey, we’ve planned an easy day trip (just as easily turned into a weekender) that will take you from Melbourne right into the midst of Victoria’s legendary Goldfields’ region for a one-of-a-kind “gold rush” adventure that’s well worth the ride. So, whether you’ve done this one before or you’re a newbie to the area, check those tyres, strap yourself in and get ready for the drive!
A few directions to get you on your way
Make your way from Melbourne on the National Highway (M8) and then follow the signs to Ballarat, which is a main centre of the expansive Goldfields’ area, heritage sites and experience. About 115km away, getting there should take just over an hour and a half, but factor in extra time and km’s for exploring Bendigo and places further afield.
Best tyres for your ride
There’s nothing like a set of super safe Maxxis tyres to get you right into the centre of the Goldfields and beyond, in plenty of comfort and style! If you’re looking for something a little bit sporty, the high performing Maxxis VS5 is suited to a wide range of cars and SUVs which makes it the perfect replacement alternative. Or, if you’re an avid 4×4’er wanting an all-terrain with a RAZR sharp edge, the AT811 is cutting edge in every way! Offering on-and off-road versatility and handling, it also delivers a smooth drive on all terrains (so another winner for this trip!). For friendly advice and assistance on the best Maxxis tyres for your vehicle and lifestyle, check in with one of our friendly Maxxis dealers conveniently located near you.
What to do when you get there
In addition to its intriguing gold rush history (which can be way more fun to check out first-hand on a road trip than reading about it in a book!) Ballarat, Bendigo and the wider Goldfields area is a happening place – not to mention great national parks and outdoor attractions to explore. Here are just a few of the things you won’t want to miss…
Pan for gold at Sovereign Hill… A living, outdoor museum that literally still lives and breathes its gold era past, Sovereign Hill is a must-do highlight of the Goldfields’ experience. Letting you be part of its 1850’s heritage, you can watch a gold pour or even try a bit of gold panning of your own! Makes for a great family outing with hours of enjoyment for all kids – both big and small.
Explore museums and art galleries…This is a road trip where art and museums abound, so if you’re up for a bit more history or want to enjoy some amazing contemporary art, there’s always something on the go. A trip through the Art Gallery of Ballarat (the oldest regional art gallery in Australia), Bendigo Art Gallery and Castlemaine Art Museum is a sure way to find out more about the Goldfields in times past, view amazing exhibitions by local artists or even take part in a workshop.
Black Hill Lookout…Under 10 minutes from Ballarat’s centre, Black Hill Lookout (part of Black Hill Reserve) offers a stunning panorama of Ballarat, Lake Wendouree and the surrounding areas. It’s also well known for being a hotspot for mountain biking, plus there are walking trails and a picnic site where you can just kick back and enjoy the spectacular views.
Visit the Lost Trades Fair…Due to be held once again at the Bendigo Racecourse in March, this fair is the perfect opportunity to find out about rare and forgotten trades of times past such as blacksmiths, stonemasons and tool makers.
Close up encounter with a ‘roo …Just a few minutes from Sovereign Hill, the award-winning Ballarat Wildlife Park lets you get up close to some of Australia’s most famous wildlife along with animals from other parts of the world. As well as free-roaming kangaroos, the park is also home to koalas, emus, wombats, penguins, crocs and Sumatran tigers – just to name a few!
Tuck in to super yummy local produce…It probably won’t be a surprise to learn that the Goldfields’ region has no shortage of beautiful local fresh produce. You can check this out in the abundant cafes, restaurants, cellar doors, distilleries, wineries and wine bars throughout the region.
Where to stay…If you decide to turn the day trip into a weekender – we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed! From heritage miners’ cottages and hotels lovingly restored in keeping with the gold rush times, to a bit of luxurious glamping and a wide range of camping options such as the family friendly BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park, there’s something suited to every budget.
Before you go…It’s school holidays and hey, it’s summer, so the roads are still extra busy. Make sure you plan ahead, book accommodation (so you don’t miss out) and check for any road works before you head off! Also remember to check your tyre pressures while the tyres are cool before you go (including the spare if you have one). If you spot any tyre damage or need help with any aspect of tyre maintenance (or you’re not sure whether your tyres need replacement), be sure to check in with a Maxxis tyre dealer who can help to get any issues sorted.
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